Facial recognition system rushed

The facial recognition system used during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year was not able to operate at its full potential due to its rushed delivery, a report has found. The report into the technology, which was uncovered by ABC News, found that existing legislation created a significant roadblock. “The inability of not having the legislation passed, both Commonwealth and state, in time for the Commonwealth Games reduced the database from an anticipated 46 million images to approximately eight million,” says the report. It also found that of the 16 ‘high-priority targets’ requested to be monitored by the system, not one could be identified by the technology.

Wikipedia’s role in changing the news

A study conducted by the University of Sydney has lifted the lid on the role of Wikipedia as a breaking news source. Dr Bunty Avieson, who conducted the research, said that “Wikipedia contributors from around the world come together in a virtual ‘newsroom’ to craft a narrative”, when a major news story breaks, such as the Sri Lankan bombings or the Christchurch shootings. Dr Avieson’s research found that each month, Wikipedia’s most popular articles in terms of views and edits are those that are breaking news. She suggested that this trend could be problematic as, “Wikipedia contributors don’t undertake the core role of journalists, which is to produce new work.”

Digital media literacy to be taught in schools

A new tool developed by national children’s charity, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, can be used by school teachers to educate students on how to critically analyse and navigate the online environment. The tool, which has received $1.4 million in funding from Google Australia, is aimed at students aged 12 to 15. It comes with research showing that only one in five students aged 8-16 have received lessons at school in how to distinguish between trustworthy and ‘fake’ news. “We want students to be able to question what they see, read and hear to determine if the information is trustworthy,” said Foundation CEO, Lesley Podesta. “Research suggests that while Australian teachers feel confident teaching media literacy skills, they wanted more curriculum-aligned digital resources to make it easier to teach media literacy.”

Cyber boss calls it quits

Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre Alastair MacGibbon has resigned from his role to return to the private sector. MacGibbon will finish his time with the ACSC on 28 May. Formerly cyber security advisor to Malcolm Turnbull, MacGibbon has been in the role since January 2018. His role will be temporarily filled by the Australian Signals Directorate’s deputy director-general, Lieutenant General John Frewen until a full-time replacement is found.

Former PM questions security agencies

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating has labelled the leaders of Australia’s security agencies as “nutters” and claimed they had “lost their strategic bearings” when it comes to China. “They’ve all gone berko," he said. “When the security agencies are running foreign policy, the nutters are in charge,” he said while helping launch Bill Shorten’s campaign on Monday.